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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Clay Week!

Phew! Clay week came and went and boy am I tired! Prepping almost 500 balls of clay for students is hard work. Then there is the teachin' part! Now that the dust has settled, haha, get it? Clay dust? I want to share some of what the students have been making.

I chose "Animals" as the unifying theme for Clay Week. I wanted to add in some science during clay week since Earth Day is coming up around the bend and Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods.

The sweet kinders were introduced to the internet senstation, the Pusheen Cat. They loved it! Along with the kitty they discovered the clay. They learned how we get clay and the basic stages of how clay changes to make a ceramic piece.

We then began by making a basic pinch pot that we squeezed around our thumb. Then, we did some pinching and pulling to model the ears and rolled a small piece of clay to make the coil for the tail. They learned how to attach clay using the score and slip method and etched in the kitty's features using a wooden tool. 

The first grade created slab fish inspired by...wait for art ed guru Cassie Stephens. The students learned the slab and coil technique in sculpting their fish. I showed them the demonstration video I made while we worked so that I could have my hands free to assist in their production. I swear, these videos saved me this week! I didn't have to repeat myself and was available to do the hands on work of teaching. Next year I am making demo videos for all of my clay lessons!


 The second grade created portraits of Indian painted elephants using a more advanced slab and coil technique. I can't wait to see them in color!

The third grade sculpted sea turtles using the pinch pot and coil technique. We busted these cute little guys out in 40 minutes! It was amazing! I had a demo video for them as well. I did have to deviate from the video for the flippers because hand modeling was too tricky for them. We rolled and flattened coils instead and that seemed to be the way to go.

Look at that detail!
The fourth grade sculpted a bird nest and bird. They used coil and modeling techniques to produce their clay works. I created  a demo video for them and it seemed to go great! Originally I had wanted them to make a bird bath instead of a nest but we just didn't have enough time. 45 minutes fly by when working with clay. They could have spent hours! 

Fifth grade gets 2 art classes to sculpt their chameleons. They are using coil and modeling techniques to produce their sculptures.  I seriously can NOT wait to see these reptiles painted!

Clay week is over but now comes firing all the pieces! I will spend the next week babysitting the kiln for a couple hours each day after school. All the work will be worth it when the kids see their clay transformed into a ceramic sculpture. Fingers crossed nothing breaks!

Thanks for stopping by!